28 of the Dumbest Ways People Accidentally Started Fires

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28 of the Dumbest Ways People Accidentally Started Fires

While there’s probably not a “smart” way to accidentally start a fire, there are assuredly some very dumb ways to get the job done. Like the guy who thought the best method for getting rid of ants was burning them with a butane torch. Or the dude who tried to forge a sword in a burn barrel like he saw on the History Channel. Or the woman who caught a bag of popcorn on fire, threw it in the trash can, and then as a bonus layer of stupidity, covered the burning bag with paper towels. Dumb, dumb and dumb with a twist. 

Anyway, the firefighters and firestarters of Reddit have fanned the flames of the worst accidental blazes they’ve seen, and some of these stories might make you brush up on your fire-safety precautions.

nilaga . 5y Not me, a friend. Не told me that there was a cockroach nearby. Feeling all cool, he took out a spray, used it against a lighter, and lit the roach on fire. Little did he know that the roach could fly. Не almost burned down his house. ... 224

The_First_Viking . 3y Based on the stories from relatives, the answer is by allowing ten years worth of dryer lint to accumulate inside the machine until it just bursts into flames. It was not an isolated case. ... 2.5k

DarthInvadeHim . Зу My partner's a firefighter. Не said the dumbest one was where a man tried to barbecue in his basement. His reasoning? I don't want to go outside and risk exposure to Coronavirus. It would be safer to do it here in the basement. ... 215

snufalufalgus . . 3y I am a firefighter but this wasn't in my district. A guy was attempting to forge a sword in a burn barrel in an alley, based on something he watched on the History Channel. The embers from the forge lit up the building he lived in and destroyed 3 multi family residential buildings. ... 1.8k

ParatroopVet . 4y Iguana chewed through an electric extension cord laying on the carpet. The iguana was DOA. ... 42

 . 3y Was in my local paper, turned out to be my friends older brother. Не tried to smoke out bees in the loft and set fire to the insulation in the loft and burnt the whole house down. ... 175

qdude1 . 3y A guy had a bunch of ants coming through his wall. Не started burning them with a butane torch and it ended really badly. Не thought it be ok because the exterior wall was concrete. Yes some people are that stupid. ... 55

SeriousSam430 . 3y A roomba knocked a scented candle over and set fire to the rest of the room. The guy said he knew the roomba did it because he watched the whole thing happen, but didn't do anything because he thought it was funny. ... 3.6k

actualverifieddog . 5y I had never used matches before and tried to light a candle. For some reason, I was completely shocked when lighting a match resulted in fire, so I dropped the match and lit a blanket on fire. ... 75

bananainmyminion . Зу In the city of Colorad Springs, the local news did a fluff piece about candle safety near Christmas. After they were done filming , the store owner that they were filming in took the crew out to breakfast. She didn't put out the candles, and burned several shops to the ground. The film crew was there to film her breakdown when they realised what caused the fire. ... 7.8k

chiefflare . 3y i have been a firefighter for 20 years. The dumbest way I've seen a house fire start was when people squatting in a basement decided that a space heater would be handy in drying their clothes. Then they waited15 minutes before calling for us, trying to put out with a garden hose (into the basement on a 5-degree night). They burned down their home and the one next door. ... 67

two-stumps Зу My father was a Boston Firefighter for 30+ years. One of his more memorable stories was a foreign family who had ripped up their cast iron bathtub, and built an open flame underneath the tub. They used the tub as a giant oil fryer. Naturally this didn't work out very well and the house caught fire. To add to the insanity even more, the family absolutely refused to let my dad and his coworkers in without taking their boots off. Which of course, they couldn't agree too. Just crazy. ... 1.5k

DanlsSwell . 5y When I was little, a kid outside showed us that he could put nail polish remover on a cotton call and light it on fire. The next day, I put a few cotton balls in the bathroom sink, put nail polish remover on them and dropped a lit match on. The flames went all the way to the ceiling and made a black patch. ... 192

Truth_bombs_incoming . 4y Man kept pig fenced in behind house. Propane tank line was buried about 4 underground where pig was. Pig piss and shit made a brass fitting in propane line brittle. It broke, leaked propane, it pooled against house, some went inside, got ignited by a heater, burned house. ... 49

kronos36 . 4y I'm not a fire fighter; however, the fire station in my hometown burned down. People started calling the fire station telling them it was on fire, and they didn't believe it until the finally walked outside and looked. They had just enough time to get the fire engines and a few things out before it got too bad. It ended up burning to the ground and they had a new one built. ... 868

DLTRla4 . 3y so, here in Argentina we have el cordero a la cruz, AKA cooking a whole lamb with open fire, well, it just so happens that pines are really flamable, and, if you make an unprotected fire in a floor covered in pine leaves near a blooming pine... ... 199

remlik . 3y Teenager was charcoal grilling in the attached garage during the winter. When done he decided the best place to dispose of the hot coals was into a cardboard box in front corner of the garage closest to the house. Yeah, it went about as well as you can imagine. ... 4.9k

zerbey . 3y My uncle is a firefighter, the answer is Christmas trees. They dry out, they become a ticking time bomb. Не used to do an annual demonstration where he'd let a Christmas tree dry out for a few months then take it outside and ignite it. The flames would shoot 40ft in the air and the tree would be gone in a few seconds. It was mightily impressive to behold... and I'm sticking with artificial trees. ... 294

NarcanPusher Зу Mid-eighties, near beginning of my career. Young lady finished putting flea spray on her pupper, when she noticed a tick embedded in it's flank. Ever hear of the tick removal technique in which you blow out a match and touch the hot tip to the tick, thereby causing it to back out of the dog? Yeah. Dog caught on fire. Little fellow ran under the bed, which also caught fire. Lady grabbed the pup with spray-wet hands, and they too caught on fire. Long story short, the house was a mess, but both the lady and the dog

NorthernBuffalo . 4y Actual Fire Fighter here. Years ago during my training, a guy parked his work van in a parking lot, threw a chain he had from the cab into the back, and went inside the store. Each end of the chain happened to land on battery posts still hooked up to some machinery inside the van. It sparked and melted the tarp it was on, and shortly the whole van was up in flames. Pretty crazy odds. ... 126

Skimanmike Зу This happened this past fall, but a family had a fairy house that was outside, right next to their wood sides house. The fairy house was made out of an old tree, and had a bunch of decorations in it, including incense candles. One evening, they decided that they would light the candles for the fairy's, which then caught the tree on fire, which then extended into the house. Since it started on the outside, it ran up the side of the house and got into the attic and second floor. The family was home, but in the

Crazylslander 4y We had two separate fires in a year that were caused by the sun shining through a window, through an object and causing the magnifying-glass effect. One was a glass paper weight sitting on top of a stack of papers. It burned a hole straight through the stack, down to the desk. It was wild. The other one escapes me at the moment...might've been the sun shining through a glass bottle or something my if memory serves me correctly. Either way, it's relatively bizarre to get a call like that, let alone two...and both were fairly close to

donutmcownage . 4y My Father was (retired) a firefighter in London, Не once phoned me just to tell me about a job he had just been to. Не told me that Не had just been to a fire in a sex dungeon and that, The fire had been started when the women was trying to burn the mans chest hair off with a candle, then proceed to drop the candle onto the fur rug when hot wax burnt her. I laughed and he said You'll be sick in a second, he then proceeded to tell me the couple were in

HatchlingChibi . Зу In college a girl in the dorms was making popcorn which (not sure how but somehow) caught fire in the microwave. She didn't want to get into trouble for it so she grabbed the flaming bag of popcorn and threw it into the nearby trashcan. Then proceeded to cover the fire with paper towels to smother it. She actually thought it would work. It did not work. I came back exhausted after work to find the dorm building surrounded by firetrucks. ... 1.4k

 4y I once had a firefighter tell me he almost died in a house fire while going back into the house to look for the owner. A neighbor was concerned about why the firefighter was still in the residence so he asked another firefighter. This is about how the exchange went: Neighbor: Why is that fireman still in the house? Firefighter: He's looking for the owner of the home. Neighbor: Не is right over there with the video camera. Turns out the owner did not think it was important to alert the fire department he was out of the

corvettee01 Зу My Dad was a firefighter, and he once went to a house fire that was started by the old lady who lived there. She liked to burn candles, but didn't like the wax buildup that would form in the cavity, so she would soak up the liquid wax with a napkin. She was doing this when she accidentally brushed a wax soaked napkin up against the flame. She panicked and threw the napkin into the trash... where all the other wax napkins were. As the trashcan exploded into flames she fled the house, but not before she went

stuckonpost . 3 3y I was a chef before I was on a volunteer fire department for a bit and this was at a restaurant down the street from my old one. Cooks at this restaurant forgot to plug the drain in the deep fryer. So what happened was they put oil in a fryer, which drained immediately, right before lunch, turned on the empty fryer, and that's when the coils caught fire. So not only did they spill 5 gallons of oil, burn a fryer, fill a restaurant with smoke and kill the service day, this was the second time it

brianh71 Зу I worked for a restoration company. A family cut a small tree down and tried to stuff it up their fireplace to burn. The flute was so crammed with leaves that smoke started to fill the living room. They tried to pull the tree out and that's when it REALLY caught fire. They tried to pull it out of the house, they got as far as the front door. All of them had 2nd/3rd degree burns on their hands/ arms and the fire destroyed the front room and entry way of their house. The insurance company asked us

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